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To sum up from an earlier post of mine on this thread and other posts on Massdrop bespoke headphone threads: Lots of people carry on about materials on Massdrop's alternatives - plastic vs metal, various types of foam, ear pad materials, head band materials. I think I get this. MassDrop is trying to create headphones that sound the best possible for a dollar amount, without bowing to one of the most important aspects of selling in the mass market - appearances. Substitute materials that cost less if they don't affect the sound. Substitute materials that cost less if they IMPROVE the sound.
Nothing in the Massdrop specials I've bought looks awful, or even bad. Every one of them that's been tested by highly credible, highly skilled headphone testers, has found that they test weirdly better than the theoretically equivalent mass market units. When there's extensive evidence over the years of people making huge improvements in some absurdly expensive headphones by doing things like tucking toilet paper behind the drivers... People should think about what they care about most. Really, sometimes less expensive design choices can IMPROVE sound.
Sometimes how things look matters a lot. All my CIEMs use custom shell and faceplate designs, with my art, because I wear them on business class flights to the other side of the world from time to time. The esthetics have started conversations that built relationships that... . I get it. But when I'm buying headphones here... I'm the only one who'll see them. I want to be transported and dazzled without inviting family finance discussions. If materials and how they look matter most for you, I get it. Go for it. No judgement. You can't believe what I coughed up for the CIEM designs. (Or, for the amount of business that came out of weirdly non-business issues...) I get it.
For me, so far... Massdrop's design decisions have turned out to be good for sound, good for price. (Pssst... you're only as good as your last release...)